We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

[Corbyn’s] Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and his Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith both saw that briefing and agreed there was “prima facie evidence” and said the party “fully accepts that Russia is responsible”.

Corbyn said he didn’t trust British scientists and British intelligence services, and suggested samples of the nerve agent be sent back to Russia because he DID trust them and Russia had asked to see the evidence.

Fleet Street Fox

The article is ‘all over the place’ regarding the USSR (to be charitable) but it does make this rather good point.

Samizdata quote of the day

In Britain in the 21st century you can be punished for mocking gods. You can be expelled from the kingdom, frozen out, if you dare to diss Allah. Perversely adopting medieval Islamic blasphemy laws, modern Britain has made it clear that it will tolerate no individual who says scurrilous or reviling things about the Islamic god or prophet. Witness the authorities’ refusal to grant entrance to the nation to the alt-right Christian YouTuber Lauren Southern. Her crime? She once distributed a leaflet in Luton with the words ‘Allah is gay, Allah is trans, Allah is lesbian…’, and according to the letter she received from the Home Office informing her of her ban from Britain, such behaviour poses a ‘threat to the fundamental interests of [British] society’.

This is a very serious matter and the lack of outrage about it in the mainstream press, not least among those who call themselves liberal, is deeply disturbing.

Brendan O’Neill

How Danes see Swedes?

Ensure subtitles are turned on 😉

Samizdata quote of the day

The real shock today would be if Meghan Markle came out and said she wasn’t a feminist. There were some slight rumblings when the royal-to-be announced she was swapping her acting career for marriage. But this pales into insignificance in comparison to the ugly insults and criticisms levelled at Katie Roiphe, Germaine Greer, Catherine Deneuve and other women who have criticised #MeToo. No, today it seems as if royalty and feminism are perfectly suited to each other: both are posh, prissy and condescending.

Joanna Williams

Personally I think Meghan Markle would be a catastrophic addition to The Firm if she does not understand why it is a terrible idea for the Royals to get political. Do that and they stop being symbols (essentially endearing living flags whose job is to wave strangely and act as a navigational datum for flypasts) and become legitimate political targets. There is no surer route to a republic and I would regret that (as I do not share Spiked’s democracy fetish) but not necessarily oppose it if the House of Windsor does indeed go full retard.

Samizdata quote of the day

The old argument about the science of socialism was that it would be more efficient than capitalism and markets. Eliminate all that waste of competition and plan what is to be produced, by whom, where, and we’ll all have more stuff. We’ll be richer in short.

Then we went and tested the contention to destruction and 1989 showed that it was incorrect.

Oh well, not the first nor the last scientific or political proposition shown to be wrong. What’s much more interesting is that the justification for the same policies has changed in this modern age. For all too many people still insist we should be doing those same things, they just trot out different reasons as to why we should. Some that it would be fairer that way, others even going so far as to insist that we shouldn’t have economic growth therefore planning and socialism.

Tim Worstall

Samizdata quote of the day

Yesterday the Labour leader posted a video to his social media accounts. Dogged for days by accusations he was complicit in passing information in multiple meetings to the Cold War Czechoslovak agent Jan Sarkocy, and having dodged questions on the topic by the press, Corbyn (or Agent Cob as the Statni Bezoecnost called him) decided he would not answer the questions but attack the press that were asking them.

Matt Kilcoyne

Samizdata quote of the day

It’s only when you read Leviticus that you realise just how into food, drink, clothes, haircuts and beards God is. He comes across as some kind of allegedly divine, yet utterly materialistic hipster.

– ‘Deschain’ commenting over on the Guardian

Samizdata quote of the day

When host Andrew Neil said survival rates for some cancers were worse in the UK than in Costa Rica and Brazil, Soubry responded, ‘And?’. When Andrews said, ‘The principle of universal access has been adopted by everyone, but the centralised bureaucratic system has not and that’s why they have better patient outcomes… Can’t we just look at these systems to try to get some better healthcare in the UK?’, Johnson replied, ‘Why?’.

As frustrating as it was to watch their cloth-eared reactions, it at least revealed the absurdity of what has now become the standard response from politicians when it comes to discussing the NHS. This abject denial of any problems within our healthcare system has resulted in the NHS being ringfenced from criticism. Today, criticising the NHS amounts to heresy.

Naomi Firsht

Samizdata quote of the day

Next time you hear someone talking about the triumph of ‘neo-liberalism’, or the prevalence of free markets, remind them that the financial markets have been explicitly state-dependent for a decade. And this is not some unintended policy side-effect. The central banks got what they wanted. They hoped to push up financial asset prices, both to keep borrowing costs down – financial prices and interest rates generally move in inverse directions – as well as to make people and institutions feel wealthier in the hope they would spend more. It’s proved much easier to stimulate financial wealth than it is to help bring about real new wealth creation through producing more goods and services efficiently.

Phil Mullan

Samizdata quote of the day

In a recent comedy routine, Chappelle provided a succinct explanation of why it makes more sense for the United States to import some goods from China rather than try to pursue a protectionist trade policy aimed at producing everything domestically. Chappelle summarized President Trump’s position vis-à-vis China: “I’m gonna go to China, and I’m gonna get these jobs from China and bring ‘em back to America.” Chappelle then interrupted his Trump soliloquy, asking: “For what, so iPhones can be $9,000? Leave that job in China where it belongs … I wanna wear Nikes, I don’t wanna make those things. Stop trying to give us Chinese jobs.”

Allan Golombek

Pretty much the coolest thing ever

Pretty much the coolest thing ever… 😎

Samizdata quote of the day

He doesn’t mean to be a monster and I don’t want to see him as one, but in his presence my blood ran cold. I was afraid of him. I was even more afraid of the way the earnest folk in the room laughed as he joked about the unintended consequences of various programmes to clean up the act of the idiotic, self-destructive great unwashed, I realised that I might be the only one there who included himself in the category of “the people” to be shaped as opposed to the smug elite doing the shaping.

No one seemed remotely concerned for the freedoms of those on the receiving end of Dr Chadwick’s mind bending, “nudging” and manipulation — the benighted mugs who ultimately pay to have such well-shod professionals sneer about them behind their backs.

– Tom Paine writing an article titled ‘An unexpected encounter with a monster

Oh boy, do I feel Tom’s Pain (sorry).

It reminds me of the following remarks I made when speaking to a rather earnest employee of Her Majesty’s government. It was at a PPE dinner at an Oxford college, filled to the rafters with pretty much the same people who filled the room where Tom Paine’s blood ran cold. As I was clearly very off-message, she had just told me that “You’re the sort of person we need to convince”:

“Don’t waste your time trying to convince me its all for my own good, because the objective isn’t my good, its making sure the people in this room have power. If you keep nudging people, and you just won’t stop, eventually they’ll punch you in the face. But we both know the reason that doesn’t happen to you is because Mao’s dictum is entirely correct. Your presumed right to do what you do to the hoi polloi is embedded at an axiomatic level, you don’t have any coherent moral argument to back it up, and why should you? The only reason you can do what you do is because you keep the police force funded, which is why you don’t need to convince me of anything.”

For some reason I don’t get taken to those kind of dinners any more 😆